Hernia mesh lawsuits involving Atrium Medical Corp.’s C-Qur patch are moving forward in the U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire. According to a Case Management Order dated February 10, 2017, the Court is now permitting plaintiffs to file directly in the multidistrict litigation.
Two dozen lawsuits involving the Atrium C-Qur patch were pending in the federal multidistrict litigation as of February 17, 2017. This past December, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation agreed to centralize all federally-filed claims over the product in the District of New Hampshire in order to allow the cases to undergo coordinated pretrial proceedings. According to the February 10th Order, direct filing of cases in the proceeding is intended to promote judicial efficiency and eliminate delays associated with the transfer of lawsuits from other federal jurisdictions.
Atrium C-Qur mesh is indicated for permanent abdominal wall reinforcement in hernia surgeries. The manufacturer of the device claims that its Omega-3 barrier coating reduces the risk of adhesions (scar tissue) between the hernia mesh and the intestines. Atrium Medical also promises that this feature allows for better fixation of the hernia patch to the abdominal wall. However, plaintiffs claim that the C-Qur mesh design causes an inflammatory response that promotes the formation of bowel adhesions, impedes proper abdominal wall fixation, and causes additional severe complications.
Atrium Medical Corp. is just one hernia patch manufacturer facing lawsuits over an allegedly defective product. A number of cases have recently been filed in courts around the country on behalf of individuals who claim to have experienced serious complications due to failure of Ethicon, Inc.’s Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh Patch. While the first Physiomesh trial is scheduled to get underway next January in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, no motions have yet been filed seeking centralization of these claims.
Ethicon’s Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh Patch was withdrawn from the worldwide market earlier last year. Ethicon decided to pull the hernia patch after data from two European registries indicated that it was associated with unexpectedly high rates of recurrence and revision when used in laparoscopic ventral hernia repair. Ethicon was not able to determine the reason for the higher rates, which it said may be due to product factors, as well as operative and patient characteristic.
Plaintiffs who have filed hernia mesh lawsuits involving the Physiomesh product claim that Ethicon and other defendants knew or should have known that the device posed a foreseeable and unreasonable risk of harm to patients. Yet they continued to market the hernia patch in the U.S. without providing adequate warnings or information about its risks to the public and medical community.